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Letters to SAR: November 1998

By Dan Shea

Dear SAR,

The article on the Ghillie Suits was very well done. I do all the exporting for Custom Concealment. I wrote the Commodity Jurisdiction Request that resulted in these suits being declared a Munitions List item. Foreign interest in these suits has been high; one of our first sales was to GSG-9! Right now we are working on sales to the Swedish and Greek armed forces (among others) and we have a sale pending export approval to the Hong Kong Police.

When I read Nick Steadman’s column in which he states that the U.S. Government is contemplating the revocation of all European export licenses I had to comment. The export of firearms and munitions is my area of expertise. The only export licenses for firearms destined to the European Community are those for handguns destined to the UK. This is due to the fact that the UK has outlawed the possession of handguns. All other licenses for the UK (for rifles, shotguns, etc) have not been revoked. In fact, handguns may still be exported to the UK if the end-user possesses a valid “Section 5 License”.

I have not experienced any difficulty in the approval of any export license to the EEC, nor have I had to complete the DSP-83 (End-User Certificate) for any but a very few shipments. This form is required for ANY order of twenty or more complete firearms (or more than 100,000 of ammunition) regardless of the end use (military or civilian) and it can be required for any shipment regardless of commodity, quantity, or end user.

Despite his doom and gloom writings, the export of firearms to the EEC is alive and well.

Steve

Steve,

Thanks for writing in on this. Nick is not really given to “Doom and gloom” so much as he has the British point of view. The Clinton programs towards firearms import and export are getting Draconian, and the reports get wilder. Many of us are licensed importers or exporters and have had problem with our paperwork recently- much of it through VRA’s (Voluntary restraint agreements) or executive orders. The British “Section 5” or “Class 5” license is about equivalent to our Class 3 Dealer with Import licensing thrown in. My understanding is that there are only about 20 of them left in Britain. Thank you for clarifying the point about the current “Hold” being only on handguns- but it is much ballyhooed by the Clinton crowd that this action is making the world safer, especially in the combat zones. What the export of all handguns has to do with the flow of Arms is beyond my understanding. We are quite happy to hear that the other exports are not being interfered with. --Ed

Dear SAR,

I am currently in the process of restoring a Hotchkiss (25mm) Antitank Gun. I purchased the majority of the cannon about six months ago and with the help of my father have been trying to get it cleaned-up. I am not necessarily interested in it being “live”, but a perfect “demilled” gun to tow behind my World War II jeep.

I am however having much difficult in locating parts and necessary equipment for it. I have the majority of the carriage, with the top and lower armor, sight and mount, cradle, trunion and trail. I do not have the most important parts, being; the breech assembly, T&E, barrel and recoil mechanism (I could also use two new wheels/hubs!)...really anything you have!!!

I understand you are one of the resident experts in the larger Class II items and hope you can be of assistance. I have placed several ads in the trade magazines and have written one or two other Class III’s hoping to get lucky. I have also been trying to do as much research on this piece as possible but also coming up with nothing of value.

Sir, I am very excited about this project and look forward to any ideas you might have. I am completely receptive to suggestions and understand your time is valuable. Thanks.

George

George,

The two names that come immediately to mind are both SAR advertisers. Kent Lomont and Bob Landies of Ohio Ordnance. The Hotchkiss 25mm, sometimes called the Puteaux, is a wonderful scaled down cannon. The parts are hard to find, but a restoration of one of these is very satisfying. I suggest you contact these two people, and see what they have. The Hotchkiss (Model of 1934, or Model of 1937) is on the Curio & Relics list, but still is a Destructive Device requiring registration under Title II. Good luck with the project. --Ed

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V2N2 (November 1998)
and was posted online on November 4, 2016

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